Thursday 22 February 2024

Week On The Wye (Pt 2)

Three days gone, three to go and we hadn't even seen a pike, the water was still well above the +1.4 we needed - and the frogs and toads had started spawning - pike spawn around the same time. The difficult pike mission was getting even harder - but you've got to be in it to win it...

Day 4 / Saturday / Water level +2.1 - We were joined by our mate Steve, and we had permission to fish a tiny Wye tributary (we couldn't find pike in the main river). And it turned out to be a game changer. A run almost straight away - nervy, snaggy fight - a big pike in the net!

She went 20lb 0oz - very glad she'd had breakfast!! Steve followed a few minutes later with a 13lb 0oz beauty - we'd found fish! Then we fished on all day without another run. Absolutely brilliant to bag a Wye twenty - just needed Paulos to land a pike to make the trip...

Day 5 / Sunday / Water level +1.9 - Early start, only 2 days left and back on the main river. A run to Paulos - and a bumped fish - crap! An hour or so later it hit the smelt again, great fight and a 17lb 4oz pike was in the net. The only action - but - mission accomplished!

Day 6 / Monday / Water level +3.4 - The river rose a meter and a half overnight. But we'd had a big pike each, that was going to be our lot. A bit of early season addering instead - no adders yet but we did find three common lizards. Tough trip - but a cracking couple of pike!

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Week On The Wye (Pt 1)

Paulos was over from the States for a week - and that could mean only one thing - Wye Pike! We really need the water levels at +1.4 or below to catch them - and it wasn't going to happen! Hopefully we could find flood water pike - if not I'd just photograph the friendly robins!

Day 1 / Wednesday / Water level +2.4 - An early start & a meter more water than we wanted. Two rods each - we put deadbaits (and occasionally lures) through all the slacks. Only one run all day which turned out to be a new PB chub for Paulos - 5lb 4oz on a whole smelt!

Day 2 / Thursday / Water level +2.6 - Paulos couldn't fish today, but I headed out. Our dad, Roger, popped down to see me - decided it looked good for a barbel - so he walked home to get his kit. Walked back and had one in no time! At 6lb 7oz it was the only fish we saw all day!

Day 3 / Friday / Water level +2.3 - Another long day, and a lot of water covered. We talked of the good old days and 10 or 15 pike in an afternoon. Only the eels were interested in the deadbaits - so as it was getting dark I put a piece of meat on the lure rod & bagged a barbel.

Half way through the trip - it wasn't going to plan at all...

Sunday 18 February 2024

No Cuts, No Glory

Tough going on the flooded Wye, but eventually found one!

Thursday 8 February 2024

Gone Digital

Having broken my scales on the last trip to The Wye I decided to replace them with their digital cousins. I'll miss watching the needle pull round, but they'll replace my 6/12lb and my 20/40lb scales - one less thing to carry - I've joined the digital age of fishing! Now what to test them on? I couldn't find anything suitable in the house or garden!?!!

Any excuse to go fishing - and James phoned - he was driving past my house on the way to the Small River - perfect! Leapfrogging down the river we both found barbel - I landed seven - mostly 4 or 5 pounders - but then something to test the scales on. A cracking fight in the fast water, before this beauty was in the net - 8lb 15oz

And James' 40 River Challenge is ticking along nicely, river number 24 in the bag with this hard earned, massive Itchen barbel. In case you missed it - the blog post is here.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Chasing Chub

Right species, right shape, wrong size! With 3½ hours on the clock I shot down the river to see if I could tempt those chub I'd spotted last time - and I did talk one into taking a bait. Unfortunately the smallest one of the bunch - but if I can fool one hopefully I can fool his big brothers!

As they weren't playing I abandoned the chub and targeted the barbel. They had moved up into surprisingly shallow water and a cube of luncheon meat did the trick - landing five - 6lb 14oz, 6lb 2oz, 6lb 0oz, 5lb 10oz & 5lb 9oz. A better average size so far this year...

Friday 2 February 2024

Meat & Mooching

A grey afternoon, but warm for the time of year - a bit of mooching about on the Small River - and I needed to use up the remainder of the tin of luncheon meat I opened on The Wye.

I was searching for chub, and I did spot a few in the clear water - but they were very spooky. The barbel wanted to play - six fish to 7lb 0oz - great stuff. And I'll be back for those chub...

Saturday 27 January 2024

Wonder Wye?

I think the River Wye doesn't like me; it's been low for a while (pretty perfect) and with a bit of warmer weather I journeyed down with James with high hopes of a few barbel & pike gracing the net...

A flood before we arrived but it was falling. Nowhere near as fast as we wanted (or expected) - then heavy rain, gale force winds and a cold frost (not forecast). And then the water started rising like mad again!

I did manage a beautiful barbel of 8lb 13oz, no pike (not a run) and a few chub rounded off the trip. James did better, barbel in the dark before targeting the chub - but the river doesn't like him much either!

Edit: This is my 1,500th blog post!

Sunday 21 January 2024

Six Below

Cold. Minus 6. Time to don the sloth hat and head back to the River Rother searching for my new river double pike. Dawn 'til dark, me & James chucked deadbaits and lures into every likely looking slack...

Just one run between us. Not quite the monster that tempted us out into the cold. Still, when that pike float bobs it could signal a two or a twenty-two! This time it was the former - next time Mrs Pike...

Monday 15 January 2024

Kennet Pike

My quest for a new river double pike took me to the River Kennet - probably a week too early judging by the water levels. But it's a lovely stretch of river, and I hope to be back for roach & barbel next season. And two jacks on float fished sardines provided the excitement!

Monday 8 January 2024

Chilly Seven

Water is still too high for pike and it's a bit cold for barbel. But using really small bits of luncheon meat I managed to tempt three into taking a bait - 7lb 5oz, 6lb 14oz & about 5lb. The bank was much steeper than it looks in the photo - got a shot as I slid past!